Survey on the perception of people with tattoos in the U.S. 2015

This statistic shows the results of a 2015 survey among adult Americans on the perception of people with tattoos. During the survey, 40 percent of respondents stated that they perceive people with tattoos as more rebellious than people without tattoos, while 6 percent stated they think tattooed people are less rebellious, and 54 percent did not see a difference between people with or without tattoos when it comes to being rebellious.

Tattoos in American society

As can be seen above, compared to people without tattoos, 40 percent of people find those with tattoos to be characteristically rebellious while only 16 percent of respondents find people with tattoos characteristically attractive. However, in most cases, people do not believe that having a tattoo can characterize someone as being spiritual, healthy or rebellious in addition to a number of other characteristics. This may be because tattoos are becoming more and more mainstream, with close to 30 percent of Americans now having one or more tattoos; that means three out of every ten people. Furthermore, body ink is most common among Americans between the ages of 30 and 39, a demographic where more than half have tattoos - i.e. one out of every two people. Another interesting fact is that slightly more women have tattoos than men.

It the end, it appears rather difficult to characterize someone with a tattoo, especially when so many people now have them. However, at the same time, it is not always obvious to know who has one or not; it turns out that a vast majority of tattooed Americans hide their tattoos in everyday life, with less than 20 percent having visible ones. However, this too may change as tattooed skin becomes more and more accepted. One indicator for this is the fact that Americans seem to be comfortable with tattoos in the workplace regarding a number of different professions - with one interesting exception: People appear less comfortable with tattoos on those who are presidential candidates.

Compared to people without tattoos, which of the following characteristics do you think people with tattoos have?

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Release date

February 2016


United States

Survey time period

October 14-19, 2015

Number of respondents

2,225 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

The source worded the question as follows: “Please complete the following sentence: ‘Compared to people without tattoos, I think people with tattoos are…?’”

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